Have you ever felt tossed off your horse by the fallen world – or the fallen world in you – and then trampled by the religious world? Yah, me too.
That’s why I gobbled up this book —> Hope for the Troubled Heart by Billy Graham.
Whether we are …
- in the ark, the safety and salvation of Christ, or
- pounding doors outside the ark, or
- scoffing at the raindrops
… hearts get troubled and hearts need hope.
If you have a heart, you need hope.
And that’s why I’m writing this post when I feel like retreating.
Stabbed and Still Beating: A Chinese Word Picture
I jotted down several encouraging quotes from the book, but this one bit especially stood out to me.
According to the author, in Chinese the word picture for perseverance is a knife in a heart.
Isn’t that what pressing on – keepin’ on keepin’ on, going forward when you’d rather crawl up in a ball and weep into your quilt – feels like?
Stab a knife in the heart and ask it to keep beating.
Isn’t that what the world did to Jesus?
And what Jesus did for us?
For you? For me?
It’s only with the ever-present help in Christ that our hearts can keep beating with a proverbial knife in it.
Comforting Troubled Hearts
If you are a Christian – saved by the blood of Jesus Christ – we’re in this ark together.
And if you aren’t, you can be.
No one is excluded, unless they want to be.
And Now the Quotes …
Here are a few – of many, many – quotes from Hope for the Troubled Heart that I hope will comfort your heart if it’s troubled.
And if you’re doing well, maybe someone you know would be encouraged by your sharing.
“God is not blind. He knows about you and your problems .… And His love for His children will never leave in times of trouble.” (Graham, pg 30)
“The locus of the conflict in the world today rises from the battle between the absolute and the relative.” (Graham, pg 57)
“When we are in trouble, we need a friend … When Jesus needed friends, they left Him…. Anyone who has been deserted knows the terrible feeling of abandonment. Jesus had to appear alone before His accusers. He had to face His trial without a friend.” (Graham, pg 63)
“God says there is no hope for the world aside from the cross. We look to the leadership of men, the progress of scientific discovery, or the spread of knowledge and think human beings can find solutions to our problems. But our hope rests not in a system, or a government, or a philosophy, but in the cross of Christ.” (Graham, pg 64, emphasis mine)
“Some people see sin in every sickness. They make their friends miserable by probing for hidden sins whenever suffering enters their lives….
It it unkind to attribute every accident, every illness and sorrow to God’s punishment for wrong behavior. It is appalling how many Christians approach suffering friends with that principle.” (Graham, pg 69)
“Where is God when we suffer? He is ever-present and all-knowing, with us in all our struggles and trials. Nothing in our lives take God by surprise. We are not alone in our suffering, for we have a God who loves us, ‘a very present help in trouble.‘” (Graham, pg 96)
“Pain can drive us in two directions. Either it can make us curse God for allowing our misery, or drive us to Him for relief.” (Graham, pg 99)
“Often it takes that ‘knife in our heart’ to drive us to Him. Our faith, our very lives, depend on God, and when we enter the valley of grief, we need His help or we will never climb another mountain.” (Graham, pg 117)
“There are so many hurts that circumstances and the world inflict upon us, we need the constant reinforcement of encouragement.” (Graham, pg 186)
God’s favorite place to meet us for encouragement is in His Word, the Bible.
God gave us the Bible so we could know Him, really know Him, not just live off what others have said about Him.
And God gave us prayer so we could talk to Him.
But it’s also good to hear what God has done and is doing in the lives of His people. Hence? The book recommendation.
All quotes are from: Graham, Billy. Hope for the Troubled Heart. Dallas: Word Pub., 1991. Print.